"The Unchurched," The Pastor's Weekly Briefing (Apr. 1, 2005)
An annual survey (2005) of church attendance conducted by the Barna Group shows that one-third of all adults (34%) remain "unchurched" - a proportion that has changed little during the past five years. With the continuing growth of the nation's population, the number of unchurched adults also continues to grow by nearly a million people annually.
The research confirms that millions of unchurched people are spiritually active:
* One out of every five reads the Bible in a typical week.
* Six out of ten pray to God each week.
* During the past year, five percent shared their faith in Jesus Christ with people who are not professing Christians.
* During a typical month, six out of ten unchurched adults worship God (but not via church services).
* Three out of ten study the Bible.
* One out of every seven has times of prayer and Bible reading with family members.
The religious media play a part in their spiritual life, too, with four out of ten absorbing Christian content through television, radio, magazines or faith-based Web sites during a typical month. One explanation for this significant degree of religious involvement is that only one-quarter of this unchurched group (24%) are atheists and agnostics. One-fifth (20%) are adults who are aligned with a non-Christian faith. The remaining 56 percent are people who consider themselves to be Christian. In fact, 15 percent of the unchurched are born again Christians: they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that they deem important in their life, and believe they will go to heaven after death because of their confession of sin and acceptance of Jesus Christ as their savior.